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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke May 19, 2021

Pope Francis was photographed with Holocaust survivors, not Rockefellers and Rothschilds

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  • Pope Francis was photographed kissing the hands of Holocaust survivors in 2014, not members of the Rothschild or Rockefeller families. 

The Rothschild and the Rockefeller families are sometimes targets of misinformation. So is Pope Francis

Now, an image of the pope kissing a man’s hand while other men look on is being framed as a moment involving both families and the leader of the Catholic church. 

"Pope Francis kissing the hand of David Rockefeller & John Rothschild," the post says

It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The Rothschilds are a wealthy Jewish family who established a financial empire in Europe beginning in the 1700s. The Rockefeller family fortune started with John D. Rockefeller, an oil tycoon and devout Baptist who became America’s first billionaire. His son, David Rockefeller, was a billionaire philanthropist who died in 2017.

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According to the Rothschild Archive, there are no members of the family named John Rothschild, though there are two spouses of Rothschilds who have "John" in their name. 

But the man whose hand Pope Francis is holding in the photo is neither a Rothschild nor a Rockefeller. According to Getty Images, it’s Holocaust survivor Eliezer Grynfeld. The photo was taken in 2014, when Pope Francis visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem. 

The man standing next to Grynfeld is Moshe Ha-Elion, another Holocaust survivor. Pope Francis was also photographed holding his hand

Reuters reported at the time that the pope was introduced to six survivors of Nazi concentration camps that day, and he slowly kissed the hand of each one. 

We rate this Facebook post False.


Our Sources

Facebook post, April 19, 2021

PolitiFact, Meme way off in claim that the Rothschild family holds ‘80 percent of the world’s wealth,’ Jan. 9, 2019

PolitiFact, Photo of Lynn Forester de Rothschild has been doctored, July 20, 2020

PolitiFact, QAnon conspiracy theorists seek to link Beirut explosion to Rothschilds, Aug. 6, 2020

PolitiFact, No, Mark Zuckerberg is not David Rockefeller’s grandson, July 28, 2020

Forbes, Rockefeller family, Dec. 16, 2020

Britannica, John D. Rockefeller, visited May 19, 2021

Reuters, Billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller dies at age 101 in new York, March 20, 2017

The Rothschild Archive, Genealogy, visited May 19, 2021

Getty Images photo, May 26, 2014

Getty Images photo, May 26, 2014

Reuters, Pope Francis kisses Holocaust survivors, May 26, 2014

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Pope Francis was photographed with Holocaust survivors, not Rockefellers and Rothschilds

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